RE: Another Subaru BRZ update!

RE: Another Subaru BRZ update!

Thursday 13th September

Another Subaru BRZ update!

Subaru fettles here and tinkers there with Boxer, Rear Wheel Drive, Zenith in Japan - expect the changes here soon



Even as ardent fans of the GT86/BRZ duo, even we cannot pretend this latest update of the Subaru coupe is comprehensive. As previously seen, most notably with the 2017 refresh, this new car is the result of continuous tweaking and refining to incrementally improve on the much lauded coupe.

Fundamentally this is still the same car that made its debut in 2012, so look elsewhere for drastic measures. Indeed even by the standards of refreshes this is modest but, rather like you'll look for every last social media update from that one particularly special person - even the really boring ones - so we'll keep abreast of the latest BRZ developments.


Ready? This BRZ now boasts "fins to suppress the turbulence of air at the rear of the body to the rear wheel arch part", plus further optimisation of the dampers tuning. The Japan only RA Racing gets a roll cage and new seatbelt and... well, it really isn't much, is it?

Still, for a lot of people the BRZ/GT86 didn't need much improvement. The sports car that many detractors want is never the one that Subaru and Toyota will make, because more power means more weight, which means heavier components and very quickly a significantly altered car. It's been suggested that this facelifted car won't be in the UK until 2019, without anything official announced yet. Should, however, you be content to have a BRZ without the very best rear arch fins that Subaru can find, early cars are now available for less than £15k; broaden that search to include the more common GT86 and the price gets ever temptingly closer to £10,000...



Author
Discussion

TekoTime

Original Poster:

49 posts

29 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Ok.

GTEYE

1,197 posts

143 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Given they managed to sell only 527 in the whole of Europe last year and only just over 3,000 since launch in 2012, I really wonder why they bother to sell them this side of the pond. It fares a bit better in the US at 4,000 or so sales per year, but they can't be making a return.

These changes will make no difference

TartanPaint

1,171 posts

72 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Open news article, look for more power or torque or mapping updates, find none, close news article.

One day... one day...

tejr

1,093 posts

97 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
TartanPaint said:
Open news article, look for more power or torque or mapping updates, find none, close news article.

One day... one day...
Pretty much this ! LOL

The only update I'd be interested in is another 2 cylinders .. and/or a Turbo.

Nanook

32,365 posts

120 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
tejr said:
TartanPaint said:
Open news article, look for more power or torque or mapping updates, find none, close news article.

One day... one day...
Pretty much this ! LOL

The only update I'd be interested in is another 2 cylinders .. and/or a Turbo.
It's a 2.0 flat 4 that meets current emissions regulations.

If you think you're ever going to see much in the way of a power increase, you'll be waiting a long time.
Advertisement

TartanPaint

1,171 posts

72 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Agreed, which is why I carefully said power, torque or mapping. I don't think it needs much more power, as such. 200bhp is fine for a headline figure. Many cars have much less power, and yet delivery it in a far less frustrating, sometimes even entertaining way. Anyway, it's been done to death. I just wanted to make it clear it's not just about the 200bhp figure.

A new set of cams, or some porting or airflow work, certainly some remapping (I know there have been a few tweaks to this over the years), maybe a lightened flywheel to make it feel more revvy?... who knows what the answer is... but I can't believe they haven't found it yet!

Munter

28,128 posts

174 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Meh the engines fine in mine. Does the job. Just keep it wound up on track.

(Says man fantasising about taking the engine out of his Civic Type-R and putting it into the GT86...oh yeah...same power, more lovelyness...ahh dreams.)

GiveItSomeWellie

2,640 posts

129 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
tejr said:
Pretty much this ! LOL

The only update I'd be interested in is another 2 cylinders .. and/or a Turbo.
Wait for the Supra.

Krikkit

13,016 posts

114 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Gotta be honest, I think that's a properly handsome car now. Multispoke alloys and the slight tweaks mean that's a real winner for me.

Guvernator

8,623 posts

98 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Have to disagree with the article and agree with the poster above. It doesn't need a massive dollop of power and weight, what it does desperately need is to add some verve to the existing engine. Cosworth have shown how it can be done with their add on kits. An extra 20-30bhp and more importantly some much needed zing is well within the realms of a mild update without adding extra weight and complexity.

A decent NA tune of the cams, some breathing mods and a remap out of the factory would go very far to turn this car from a nearly ran to something more complete. Yes you could argue that you can do this yourself with mods or the aforementioned Cosworth kits but not many people in the UK are happy about modding a car still under warranty. Subaru\Toyota should do the upgrades to the base car and offer it as an extra trim level or offer a factory backed, warrantied upgrade path ala Cosworth. As it is, this was the one big weakness of the car when it was released and it still hasn't been addressed 6 years later.

Edited by Guvernator on Thursday 13th September 10:23

JB!

5,064 posts

113 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
If anyone is tempted by a 1st gen, my World Rally Blue manual will be in the classifieds shortly... Going to miss it.

ToothbrushMan

1,095 posts

58 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
i think right from day 1 all real driving enthusiasts wanted to see was a 2 litre turbo from the impreza dropped in. Subaru just dont seem to want to go there and I know the drive is probably more predictable without turbo power but all the same.....if they sell they sell.

chillbill

59 posts

73 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
TartanPaint said:
Agreed, which is why I carefully said power, torque or mapping. I don't think it needs much more power, as such. 200bhp is fine for a headline figure. Many cars have much less power, and yet delivery it in a far less frustrating, sometimes even entertaining way. Anyway, it's been done to death. I just wanted to make it clear it's not just about the 200bhp figure.

A new set of cams, or some porting or airflow work, certainly some remapping (I know there have been a few tweaks to this over the years), maybe a lightened flywheel to make it feel more revvy?... who knows what the answer is... but I can't believe they haven't found it yet!
On an objective note, I believe one part of not getting better torque or power or delivery is actually the BRZ/GT86's low weight vs emissions regulations. In the EU, and correct me if I'm wrong, a car's allowed max emissions from factory depend on its weight. So the more a car weighs, the more it is allowed to pollute. And vice-versa. (This was, I believe, lobbied into EU legislation by German car maker trio, as their best-sellers are not exactly featherweight). So it's not whether Subaru and Toyota can make the car more powerful and give it more torque low down. No doubt they could do it. But would it be enough to pass the newest EU emissions tests? I doubt. Hence the facelift 86/BRZ has also the same power as the PFL ones. Not more like in other markets. In addition, adding a bit more power would be OK, but adding much would go against the ethos of the car.

On a subjective note, whether you regard the twins engine as sufficient depends on where you're coming from and if you are or aren't corrupted by modern turbo engines. I initially tried out a GT86 coming from a mapped MK5 GTI (250hp, bags of torque). The GT86 sure felt slow after this. (Was not helped by the fact that the owner discouraged me from wringing it out, saying that he'd very much like to head back home in one piece: ). Sold the MK5 and drove round in an economy car from the 90s. 1.6 NA, 100 hp. Stripped out, made sufficient progress considering it only weighed a ton. So coming from this and trying out another BRZ/86, it felt just fine. So bought a GT86.

In conclusion, does the GT86 make better progress in the low rpm range than a modern 1.5-2.0 litre turbo? No, of course not. Is it faster when overtaking than a 250hp GTI, even if changing down? No, of course not. But is it actually sufficient for city and highway? To me, it is. After all, it's a 2.0 NA propelling around only 1.2 tons. Does it make a better sound than a bland R4 turbo (not talking about mega hatches)? To me it does, sounds mechanical (albeit being piped). And what does it do on the back road when giving it the full beans and holding it at 10/10ths? It makes me grin from ear to ear like few cars I've owned have (Clio 172, EP3 R...). It makes you concentrate to get the most out of it. As such to me it's very different from modern cars in which driving fast has become a) too easy (psst, boring) and b) not rewarding enough.

So the twins and their engines can either viewed as a missed opportunity and a step backwards in the wrong direction or a step backwards in the right direction. Different jokes for different folks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUhLXvxlQR4

tejr

1,093 posts

97 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
GiveItSomeWellie said:
Wait for the Supra.
Iirc, it will be using a BMW engine? I lost interest at that part.

BMW used to make 6 pot engines that sang (like the 2JZ). Now they make farty noises frown (The current S55 is horrible)..

550M

1,083 posts

148 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Why do you keep showing pictures of the 'Not for Europe' STi?

In other news, the 2019 model year now has Sat Nav, DAB, Apple Car Play and something called Track Mode....

JB!

5,064 posts

113 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
550M said:
Why do you keep showing pictures of the 'Not for Europe' STi?

In other news, the 2019 model year now has Sat Nav, DAB, Apple Car Play and something called Track Mode....
If you track it while in warranty, cover your plates.

Olivera

3,020 posts

172 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
TartanPaint said:
Agreed, which is why I carefully said power, torque or mapping. I don't think it needs much more power, as such. 200bhp is fine for a headline figure. Many cars have much less power, and yet delivery it in a far less frustrating, sometimes even entertaining way. Anyway, it's been done to death. I just wanted to make it clear it's not just about the 200bhp figure.

A new set of cams, or some porting or airflow work, certainly some remapping (I know there have been a few tweaks to this over the years), maybe a lightened flywheel to make it feel more revvy?... who knows what the answer is... but I can't believe they haven't found it yet!
One thing that PH has failed to report (along with various car mags) is that the GT86/BRZ got a power upgrade and shorter gearing many years ago in the rest of the world! The increase was to 205bhp plus a shorter final drive of 4.3, when combined together made an appreciable difference to acceleration.

Simon Owen

141 posts

67 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
chillbill said:
TartanPaint said:
Agreed, which is why I carefully said power, torque or mapping. I don't think it needs much more power, as such. 200bhp is fine for a headline figure. Many cars have much less power, and yet delivery it in a far less frustrating, sometimes even entertaining way. Anyway, it's been done to death. I just wanted to make it clear it's not just about the 200bhp figure.

A new set of cams, or some porting or airflow work, certainly some remapping (I know there have been a few tweaks to this over the years), maybe a lightened flywheel to make it feel more revvy?... who knows what the answer is... but I can't believe they haven't found it yet!
On an objective note, I believe one part of not getting better torque or power or delivery is actually the BRZ/GT86's low weight vs emissions regulations. In the EU, and correct me if I'm wrong, a car's allowed max emissions from factory depend on its weight. So the more a car weighs, the more it is allowed to pollute. And vice-versa. (This was, I believe, lobbied into EU legislation by German car maker trio, as their best-sellers are not exactly featherweight). So it's not whether Subaru and Toyota can make the car more powerful and give it more torque low down. No doubt they could do it. But would it be enough to pass the newest EU emissions tests? I doubt. Hence the facelift 86/BRZ has also the same power as the PFL ones. Not more like in other markets. In addition, adding a bit more power would be OK, but adding much would go against the ethos of the car.

On a subjective note, whether you regard the twins engine as sufficient depends on where you're coming from and if you are or aren't corrupted by modern turbo engines. I initially tried out a GT86 coming from a mapped MK5 GTI (250hp, bags of torque). The GT86 sure felt slow after this. (Was not helped by the fact that the owner discouraged me from wringing it out, saying that he'd very much like to head back home in one piece: ). Sold the MK5 and drove round in an economy car from the 90s. 1.6 NA, 100 hp. Stripped out, made sufficient progress considering it only weighed a ton. So coming from this and trying out another BRZ/86, it felt just fine. So bought a GT86.

In conclusion, does the GT86 make better progress in the low rpm range than a modern 1.5-2.0 litre turbo? No, of course not. Is it faster when overtaking than a 250hp GTI, even if changing down? No, of course not. But is it actually sufficient for city and highway? To me, it is. After all, it's a 2.0 NA propelling around only 1.2 tons. Does it make a better sound than a bland R4 turbo (not talking about mega hatches)? To me it does, sounds mechanical (albeit being piped). And what does it do on the back road when giving it the full beans and holding it at 10/10ths? It makes me grin from ear to ear like few cars I've owned have (Clio 172, EP3 R...). It makes you concentrate to get the most out of it. As such to me it's very different from modern cars in which driving fast has become a) too easy (psst, boring) and b) not rewarding enough.

So the twins and their engines can either viewed as a missed opportunity and a step backwards in the wrong direction or a step backwards in the right direction. Different jokes for different folks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUhLXvxlQR4
I'm no expert but having had experience of removing the 'torque dip' on our 86 my understanding is that it is indeed completely emissions related and hence very difficult for manufacturers to fix within these constraints.

There is nothing wrong with the cams on the 86 and the aftermarket work (in NA tune) to give the car that bit more verve some people crave is actually quite simple ... removal of a big fat cat in the manifold, a better flowing exhaust, filter and re-map. Toyota could easily achieve this if they were allowed to and I suspect without adding any cost or reliability issues to the package.

I completely get that not everybody is into aftermarket tuning (me included !!) but the fundamentals of the way the car drives and makes you feel make it a worthwhile consideration in this instance, the conclusion above is spot on and exactly how I feel about the car.

BrassMan

1,099 posts

122 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
chillbill said:
On an objective note, I believe one part of not getting better torque or power or delivery is actually the BRZ/GT86's low weight vs emissions regulations. In the EU, and correct me if I'm wrong, a car's allowed max emissions from factory depend on its weight. So the more a car weighs, the more it is allowed to pollute. And vice-versa. (This was, I believe, lobbied into EU legislation by German car maker trio, as their best-sellers are not exactly featherweight). So it's not whether Subaru and Toyota can make the car more powerful and give it more torque low down. No doubt they could do it. But would it be enough to pass the newest EU emissions tests? I doubt. Hence the facelift 86/BRZ has also the same power as the PFL ones. Not more like in other markets. In addition, adding a bit more power would be OK, but adding much would go against the ethos of the car.
Interesting. A brief googling doesn't give emissions standards by weight, but I'm not sure what the best terms would be and there are too many lules to read everything*. Does anyone know anything more?

  • I'm lazy.

unsprung

2,395 posts

57 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
Given they managed to sell only 527 in the whole of Europe last year and only just over 3,000 since launch in 2012, I really wonder why they bother to sell them this side of the pond. It fares a bit better in the US at 4,000 or so sales per year, but they can't be making a return.

These changes will make no difference
a bit better?

blimey, one figure's almost 8x the other

yet the EU population is 54 percent larger than that of the US

I don't mind, one way or the other, and my comment is not intended as a complaint

but on things like retail prices, total cost of ownership, disposable income, and the like, the maths are different -- and the consequent patterns of behaviour distinct, one side of the Atlantic and the other